I'm a real jerk about my knives. I break out in hysterics if anyone else touches them. One time, while cooking dinner with a girl I was seeing and her friend, I inadvertently snapped at the friend when she casually tossed the knife onto the counter. That did not go over well....
Anyway, if you're obsessed with quality, balance, and edge integrity of a good knife, check out these badboys. For my fellow lefties out there, the Shuns are available with left-handed handles.
Shun Classic 8-inch Chef's Knife
A good knife makes prep work a joy. But what constitutes a "good knife" for each individual is a matter of personal preference largely based on feel. If a Global feels better in your hand, by all means, get a global. Or a Henkel. Or whatever. I just happen to love the way this guy feels and I love the way it holds and edge. The handle fits my hand and the object feels like an extension of my extremities.
Oh and, not to mention, the Samurai sword look makes me feel like a cooking ninja.